VANCOUVER'S HISTORICAL SITES
It was one of the largest Chinookan villages encountered by Lewis and Clark, but today Cathlapotle is one of the few archaeological sites on the Lower Columbia River that has withstood the ravages of flooding, looting, and development. A decade of archaeological research has produced a wealth of information about the Chinookan people who lived on the river before Lewis and Clark first observed Cathlapotle in 1805.
VANCOUVER HISTORICAL RESERVE
The Vancouver National Historic Reserve was established by Congress in 1996, to preserve and interpret historically significant areas in Vancouver, Washington. Serving as the main supply depot for the Hudson's Bay Company's fur trading in the 19th century, this 366–acre reserve features important historical sites including the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver Barracks, Officers' Row, Pearson Field, the Water Resources Education Center, and portions of the Columbia River waterfront.
FORT VANCOUVER NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
The birthplace of the city of Vancouver – the first multicultural community in the Pacific Northwest – Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is the premier historical archaeological site in the Pacific Northwest. Millions of archaeological artifacts lie under ground – remains of the Native Americans, Hudson Bay Company employees, US Army soldiers, and other peoples who lived here.
The National Park Service has an archaeological collection of 1.5 million artifacts excavated from this site. Enjoy the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and Vancouver Barracks' diverse history through ranger–led talks and walks, living history programs, special events, films and written information. The trail of Lewis & Clark's Corps of Discovery flowed through the Historic Reserve. Today Fort Vancouver houses several reconstructed buildings that are furnished as they might have been in the middle of the 19th century.
Pearson Field is one of the oldest operating airfields in the US, with a pioneering place in aviation history. Pearson Air Museum highlights landmarks in the history of the field, and includes educational exhibits on the mechanics of flight and a restoration workshop. The small museum also displays vintage aircraft including World War I planes, and provides short films on aviation history.
This historic drive is lined with 21 restored Victorian homes built for military officers of the Vancouver Barracks, including Ulysses S. Grant, General O.O. Howard House and George C. Marshall. Today, portions of Vancouver Barracks are home to the 104th and 396th divisions of the US Army Reserve, continuing a rich tradition of military service. Two of the homes are open for tours.
Located on the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, this Queen Anne Victorian was named after Gen. George C. Marshall who resided in the house while serving as commanding officer at Vancouver Barracks from 1936–38 before becoming U.S. Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. Open to the public, it can be reserved for weddings and events.
CEDAR CREEK GRIST MILL
A national historic landmark, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill rests on a steep, rocky slope at the bottom of a narrow gorge. Built in 1876, it is the only water powered grain grinding mill in Washington that has maintained its original structural integrity and grinds with stones. The scenery around Cedar Creek Grist Mill is enchanting – heavily wooded with a beautiful stream. The south side of the creek has four picnic tables that offer a wonderful view of the stream, the mill and covered bridge. Visitors are treated to a tour of how the mill still works today. Huge pulleys and belts spinning above and below are turning and churning to produce flour, corn meal and apple cider. Take home samples of the products created by Mother Nature.
END OF THE OREGON TRAIL INTERPRETIVE CENTER
Beginning in the 1840′s more than 300,000 people began their Oregon Trail journey, living and writing their stories. In its early days, the Oregon Trail was a 2,000 mile string of rivers and natural landmarks followed from Missouri to Oregon. In later years, after thousands of pioneers had followed the Oregon Trail to settle in the Oregon Country, there were well–worn paths to follow, local roads, military roads, and shortcuts, but it was easy to take a wrong turn. Share in these stories with a visit to the dynamic End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon City, Oregon. Living history presentations, "Bound for Oregon," an experience in digital cinema, exhibits of artifacts and heirlooms from the trail, and pioneer living activities provide a unique experience.
CLARK COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM
This downtown Vancouver museum will delight history lovers with its immense collection of historical Vancouver documents, photographs and maps as well as its pioneer and Native American artifact displays.